Bill Griffin, a 1984 graduate of Howland High School and lifelong resident, joined his son, Ross, in Heaven on Tuesday, February 19, 2019.
He passed away of complications from diabetes.
He was employed by Comcast Cable for 28 years as a Senior Account Executive. Bill was one in a million. With the love of exceptional parents he developed a keen sense of business that served hundreds of companies as well as charitable organizations throughout the valley. He created a spirit of generosity that was unmatched in everything and every person he touched. Bill’s business spirit began with bagging groceries at Sparkle Market and then selling everything from men’s ties to shoes; evolving into one of the most successful advertising forces in Cable TV history. Bill was instrumental in creating the “Cable Guys” marketing concept, and by leveraging their imagination, created advertising campaigns that propelled local businesses’ sales to unimaginable heights.
Bill’s infectious charm and endearing humor compelled competitors to work together; many of those former competitors are now inseparable friends. Bill drew inspiration from childhood idols such as Ernie Hall and Paul McCartney, which evolved into a life of achievement that included aviation, music and philanthropy.
Growing up next to the Hall Airport in Howland, Bill, his father Art and brother, Bob, developed a lifelong passion for flying which he passed on to his son, Connor. The pinnacle of that passion resulted with Bill spearheading the construction of the Ernie Hall Aviation Museum at Sloas Airfield. The yearly Wings-n-Wheels fly-in and car show raises money for local charities including Northeast Ohio Adoption Services, Animal Welfare League and the aviation museum.
His creativity and energy were unparalleled when it came to doing something extraordinary for friends and family. When we thought it couldn’t be done, we called Bill and he always answered those challenges with a can-do attitude and a personality that motivated all of us to do things that we often resisted but typically relented and ultimately achieved the goal before us.
His love of music (especially the Beatles) led Bill to play bass guitar in the rock group, The Benders, with friends Jeff Draime, Dante Cerni and Dave LeMasters; who at one time opened for acts such as ZZ Top, Bad Company, Cheap Trick and The Gin Blossoms. As part of the Sloas Airfield, next to the Ernie Hall Museum, Bill created a music showcase with hundreds of rock albums and memorabilia including legendary rockers from Paul McCartney to David Grohl.
Bill will be dearly missed by his wife, Kim; son, Connor (fiancée, Lacey Burns); parents, Arthur and Annabelle Griffin and in-laws, Bill and Betty Lou Mink and Darlene and Dan Crouse. He also leaves sisters, Janie (Kevin) Cunningham and Heidi (David) VanDevender; brother, Bob (Cindy) Griffin; sister- in-law, Pam (Dr. James) Martuccio and nephews and nieces, James and Jack Martuccio, Christopher Simons, Amanda Cunningham, Mackenzie Wilhelm and Matthew and Haley VanDevender.
Bill and Kim’s son, Ross, died just one year ago.
Family and friends may pay their respects on Saturday, February 23, 2019 from 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. at the Packard Music Hall, 1703 Mahoning Avenue in Warren, where a memorial service will follow at 3:00 p.m. with Father Donald King officiating.
Arrangements have been entrusted to the professional care of the Peter Rossi & Son Memorial Chapel, Warren.
In lieu of flowers the family requests donations to Ernie Hall Aviation Museum, 4033 North River Road, Warren, OH 44484 or the Ross Griffin Memorial Foundation, 7 West State Street Suite 301, Sharon, PA 16146.
Family and friends may visit www.peterrossiandsonfh.com to sign the guest book or send condolences to Bill’s family.
A television tribute will air Friday, February 22 at the following approximate times: 6:41 a.m. WYTV and 8:41 a.m. MyYTV and 9:58 a.m. on FOX plus two additional spots throughout the day.